Why do some pieces of classical music speak to kids more than others? For example, my 6-year-old nephew knows almost all of Mozart’s The Magic Flute by heart. It's quite simple. Get your child to listen to “Der Hölle Rache” (The Queen of the Night aria) and I bet you anything that they’ll immediately know the melody and will still be singing it to you tomorrow.
Is the fact that Mozart himself started composing at such a young age something to do with it? Listen to the two pieces he wrote aged 5 and they already point in the direction of a genius. Then 30 years later, with his celebrated Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music), he was still a hit with young audiences!
Of course there are other composers who have written works that young people find irresistible – Pachelbel’s famous Canon, the music from Tchaikovski’s ballets, Ravel’s Boléro, and Le Carnaval des animaux (Carnival of the Animals) by Saint-Saëns are just a few examples.
And, just as a side-note, when it comes to awakening young ears to classical music, nothing can beat experiencing it live. It is in the first watching of an instrument being played that the greatest musicians are born. So, begin by getting your young ones to listen to this playlist, show them Ingmar Bergman’s poetic The Magic Flute... then, as soon as the music venues reopen, hurry to a concert!